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As a synapse player, is cortex just broken?

Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:55 am
by TheOnlyPaulV
Maybe its the way im playing it as a synapse player but I don't know if i'm 'understanding' the game?
I play synapse by looking at the map, developing a strategy, planning the moves then, every few seconds of game time, altering that strategy based on what pops up (I see a player, I hide, I gather people to storm a room etc).
Now with cortex I try and play the same way but its impossible.
Since play seems to continue, and cannot be stopped, once the ball is picked up I have to setup a defense with no idea where or what will happen: I cannot react!
So I setup a defense, moving my players into position expecting a biltz. Instead the AI moves a player wide and throws the ball to him, cue me looking at the screen for 5 seconds whilst he runs a full lengther of the pitch with a player stood 2 metres around the corner.
In synapse, play would freeze, allow me to move my defender into place to intercept and stop the long run. In cortex I just have to watch because, despite a player being free near the attacker, I placed him 1 metre wrong at the start of play ages (in play terms) ago?
Is that how the game works?
Is it no longer a case of adapting strategies but thinking about where or what an attacker will do, picking one at random and blocking that play?
Choose wrong and watch as the play completes and nothing I can do to change or adapt?
Am I getting this wrong?

Re: As a synapse player, is cortex just broken?

Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:09 pm
by macguffinman
Hm. Is this in a multiplayer mode? I've only played single player, but in my experience play stops as soon as the ball changes hands (is picked up, passed, etc.) But if the player with the ball decides to run instead of pass, the action ain't stopping until he hits the endzone or is tackled.

Is this different from what's happening to you?

Re: As a synapse player, is cortex just broken?

Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:59 pm
by TheOnlyPaulV
No it seems to be the same as what your getting, but that is the problem.
As you state:
if the player with the ball decides to run instead of pass, the action ain't stopping until he hits the endzone or is tackled
so it is played like that.
Predict where you think the player will move/pass.
Get it wrong and he will walk, un bothered into the end zone...
Strange and very 'un strategy' like.
Very disappointing for me.

Re: As a synapse player, is cortex just broken?

Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:57 pm
by Neofelis
In singleplayer the run will last until touchdown/tackle, but in multiplayer it should break. There are apparently currently some issues with turn not breaking as it should (mentioned here), so it should be a bit better in multiplayer in the future.

Anyway, you can bring more tactics into play by blocking the throw lines only for the time it takes for the ball to fly there (by using the timer), and then you can move to block possible running routes. I've only played about a season's worth of singleplayer but a lot more multiplayer, and to me it seems to work and give enough opportunities to develop your strategy both in single- and multiplayer.

I've played a fair amount of Synapse as well, and I don't see Cortex as having a lot less strategy. It does emphasize positioning and reading your opponent a bit more, but it also eases the analysis paralysis and pixel perfect planning. If there were a large difference in the amount of strategy required or the kind of thinking you need, you'd suppose the players at the top would be different, but as it stands, many of the top players are the same in both.

Re: As a synapse player, is cortex just broken?

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:49 am
by Jythier
In Frozen Synapse, lots of things can happen in those 5 seconds that you can't react to. Same thing here - you need to have planned for them to begin with. It's about... covering the 5 options that are most likely. And/or saving a guy back for just that case where it's not something you predicted.

Re: As a synapse player, is cortex just broken?

Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:27 am
by championsleeper
I agree. The game works really well at times, but then sometimes, it seems like you just get screwed. Some things I think do not work well in the game:

- Unbalanced starting positions: Having defense or offense start in positions where they cannot get to a useful location if an opposing player remain stationary
- No turn ends for running plays: Just doesn't balance well or make any sense. Why stop after a pass but not after part of a run?
- You can get boxed in easily and screwed. Even when you play good defense, you may end up in a location where you can neither run nor pass without an immediate turnover.
- No passing after running. Really limits ideas in the game. Pass lines are few and far between and this limitation makes hitting bonus points a suicide mission.
- The endzone in some maps can be completely blocked by the defense on the first turn. Some maps have 4 or 5 small end zone gaps that can be plugged by the defense preventing a touchdown.
- Stationary players have the advantage. Hard to understand this choice. Every sport I know rewards movement. Not Frozen Cortex, though. Move, and you risk losing a player.
- Pass limits and turn limits? Why artificially limit these? This makes the number of offensive opportunities somewhat random and often unbalanced. Sometimes you recover the ball on defense in a bad spot and are essentially losing time before turning the ball over again. The game should either be time based, or an even number of clean starts on offense.

I liked this game at first, but it's becoming increasingly frustrating. It;s just got so many odd choices coupled with an element of randomness that makes it painful to try and succeed.

Re: As a synapse player, is cortex just broken?

Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 3:16 am
by Jythier
My favorite custom mode is exactly what you've suggested - 2 play full Match. It's Full Match but with 1 clean start per player.

Turn limit is not fair but it does add a time-management aspect to the game that isn't there in the 'fair' mode.

Finally, the no passing after running is part of the offense/defense balance, as is the pass limit. I understand the want of having unlimited any-time passing but it really DESTROYS playing D. You can't play D when your opponent can do that much.

Re: As a synapse player, is cortex just broken?

Posted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:28 pm
by kmacku
This game seems a great deal less strategy oriented, and more chance-oriented, than Frozen Synapse.

My big beef with the game right now is that it's two different games based on whether you're using a champ team or a chump team. With wider interception zones, you don't have to rely so much on chance, but when you're using the starter team, it pretty much comes down to "guess which way the AI's going to throw!" and that makes things incredibly frustrating. That said, I find myself needing to use the simulation mode far less in Cortex because there's both more clarity on your input, and more ambiguity on the AI's. Once you get down where you can and can't intercept and where you can and can't move without risking getting stunned, it comes down to tactical decisions, and very often, it's a coin flip with disastrous results if you're wrong.

With Synapse, you often have to get down to every minuscule detail. How many tenths of a second before your shotgunner switches directions, how exact is the angle of your riot shield. You simulate, alter, simulate again, and go. In Cortex, there's even a 30 second challenge mode; you're not meant to spend minutes and minutes in simulation to get that five second turn exactly right.

I don't know if I'd call it "broken". It's different, I'll give it that. It feels like it's for far more casual gamers than Synapse was, which is a shame, but hey, them's the breaks.